Copying Text to the Windows Clipboard

Recently I was having trouble reproducing a bug the perf team was running into, it had to do with a specific camera position in our workload. I decided the simplest and most time saving approach (for our purposes and for them) was to have them copy the camera data to a clipboard and email it to me – then I could reproduce the position exactly.

The msdn example code I found for copying data to the clipboard worked fine but it was a little overblown for the simple case I needed. I’ve boiled it down to just a few lines and I wanted to post it here in case anyone else wants to add this simple functionality to their application:

if ( ! OpenClipboard(hWnd) ) 


char text[512] = "Your clipboard text (or data)";
size_t text_len = strlen(text);

// Allocate a global memory object for the text. 
HGLOBAL hglbCopy = GlobalAlloc(GMEM_MOVEABLE, (text_len + 1) * sizeof(char)); 

// Lock the handle and copy the text to the buffer. 
char *lptstrCopy = (char *) GlobalLock( hglbCopy ); 

memcpy(lptstrCopy, text, text_len * sizeof(char) );
lptstrCopy[text_len] = (char) 0;


// Place the handle on the clipboard. 
SetClipboardData(CF_TEXT, hglbCopy); 

CloseClipboard( );

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